PHOENIX -- Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced consumers who were the victim of Pearl Bridal and its owners, Erica and Tyson Miltenbergers, will receive up to $90,000 in restitution under a Consent Judgment filed today. The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed in September 2018 in which the State alleged Pearl Bridal and the Miltenbergers used false advertising and deceptive practices to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in prepayments for wedding dresses, and then abruptly shut down the business, leaving most of those orders unfilled.
"Wedding celebrations should be filled with love and joy, not with the shock and disappointment of finding out that you will not be wearing the custom dress you paid for," said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. "A business cannot mislead a consumer, collect their money, and then abandon them on one of the most important days of their life."
The Attorney General’s Office launched an investigation into Pearl Bridal when, after having accepted over $275,000 in unfulfilled orders, the shop abruptly closed in May 2018. Some consumers were able to receive refunds from their banks or credit cards, and others ultimately did receive their orders. However, approximately $90,000 worth of orders remained unfulfilled and unrefunded. The investigation revealed that Pearl Bridal used deceptive advertising and phony consumer reviews to lure consumers into their Phoenix storefront. Once consumers found a dress, Pearl Bridal and the Miltenbergers asked customers for upfront payments, promising that in six to nine months, they would get a custom-made dress that had been designed in-house.
Once the court approves the settlement, Pearl Bridal and the Miltenbergers will pay $90,000 in restitution to consumers, as well as up to $250,000 in civil penalties to the State. The Miltenbergers also agreed to dispose of their remaining wedding dress inventory and are banned from being involved in any apparel-related businesses in Arizona in the future.
Assistant Attorneys General Kaitlin Hollywood and Mitchell Allee handled this case.
The Arizona Attorney General's Office will begin contacting consumers who are owed money shortly. Consumers can also reach out to the Consumer Division at the Arizona Attorney General's Office to make sure they are made whole financially.
If you believe you have been the victim of consumer fraud, please contact the Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6648, or outside the metro areas at (800) 352-8431. Bilingual consumer protection staff is available to assist. Consumers can also file complaints online.